June 30, 2012
Polls and polling
Now that the drama is gone from the political scene in Wisconsin we can get some information that might have been helpful during the recall and could be helpful in the future.
Let's begin with the Marquette Law School poll. The key person in starting a polling operation is Charles Franklin. He and his partner, Ken Goldstein, teach in the Poli Sci department at UW-Madison. Someone got an idea. "We study polling by others, why don't we do our own polling? It ain't brain surgery." But it might make lots of money for the two professors. If they are paid by Marquette, should that be a public record? And if not paid by Marquette, why are they doing this polling? Are we to conclude they are paying all the costs out of their pockets?
Someone contacted the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) or WPRI contacted Franklin/Goldstein and a meeting took place. The two sides loved the idea of working as a team. WPRI had the money from the the extreme right wingers at Bradley Foundation, and Franklin and his partner had the expertise. (Polling has become a weapon in politics because voters and media give pollsters more credibility than a news release.)
WPRI was so pleased that they announced the new "partnership" to the media. Franklin could release the info they wanted released but all the good stuff would remain hidden from the public. Why? Because Franklin and WPRI agreed to keep the information out of reach of Open Records, with an agreement that simply said none of their work would be subject to Open Records. This was disturbing because they could use the good name of the University of Wisconsin to push the Bradley (WPRI) agenda, keep all the data to themselves, dribble out information whenever they felt like it.
It was a marriage made in heaven, but if something seems too good to be true....When UW counsel told the duo that they could not avoid Fighting Bob's Open Records request because they are part of a public institution--the UW--they drooped the "partnership" and started over. This time with Marquette Law School which is outside the reach of Open Records.
Who cares, you ask? Well, the Bradley folks care in part because they can shape the debate in the public forum. Example: Q. Polls show that most Wisconsin voters oppose recalls. "How do you respond?" Or, "Tommy Thompson is way ahead of his rivals." Will funders take a pass? Now it is possible that the results announced by Marquette polling are correct, but it is also possible that they may have three or four polls and they discard the ones with results they do not like. Or they exaggerate.
Who pays for the polls? In the material we got from Open Records, it costs about $10,000 to make the calls for every poll. How much does it cost to keep a staff? How much are Franklin and Goldstein paid and who pays them?
Have they reached agreement as they did before the emergence of Marquette that a Journal Sentinel reporter will be given exclusive access to the polling results for 48 hours before released to the public? Is it ethical for the Journal Sentinel to enter into such an agreement? Is the JS part of the story? Maybe they should ask old "pants on fire" PolitiFact.
My poll shows that the JS should go public with an explanation.
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Obsess much? Turns out the polls were right, the Dems got whupped on the recall, and now it is time to tackle a real issue. You are worrying this like on old blind dog with his last bone.
-Griebnotz Doerkpfester | (REALLY Glad) I Escaped, WI. | June 30, 2012
Reality is what it is. Get that third party going. We've had enough talk the past few Bob Fests, now it's time for some action. Let's get some good people to step forward and let's groom them to be the people's candidates. We need a written statement of our purpose. We need conviction and follow through when we speak. We need to include all voters because we are going to represent them. Times a-wasting and it aint no fun watching dems and cons duke it out over their nothingness and donors. As we like to say on down on the farm, s**t or get off the pot.
-Maria Caliente | Middleton, WI | June 30, 2012
Ed, figure out how to fund a counter poll that meets your openness standards. I doubt you can do either.
-Mark Kochanski | Madison, WI | July 2, 2012